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Asked by southern rail to sign witness statement - what does this mean? sat in first class **RESOLVED**


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Hello all.

 

Firstly, as a first time poster I just want to say how useful this forum is, so I’m hoping you’ll be able to help me out too.

 

I was recently stopped by a Southern Rail inspector. I was travelling on a packed commuter train and (although many of you might think this is an excuse) I suffer from really bad foot pain, which I have been to the doctors about, and sat in first class as I was in real pain.

 

In hindsight, I shouldn’t have done it. I should have asked someone to get up for me, but being a young guy I doubt people would have taken me seriously. I spoke with the conductor who made me feel out a ‘witness statement’ I gave my name, full address, phone number and then she handed it to one of he colleagues who completed the process.

 

He was a nice guy. He told me not to worry and that they would send me a letter in the post asking for a fine. But he didn’t ask me to pay anything there and then, he said I had to wait until the letter comes through. I later revealed some kind of gold badge and asked me a few questions which I answered truthfully. He said not to worry and that this was only ‘civil’ and that I would 100% just get a fine.

 

I’m not a fare dodger and never sit in first class barring this one time.

 

What should I expect? Just a fine? A court summons?

 

Once again, thanks for all your help/advice.

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Hello and welcome to CAG.

 

It's quite hard for us to guess what Southern Rail will decide to do, but you need to wait for their letter. That will ask you for your version of events and they will decide once they see it.

 

Once they write, we'll help you to get a letter together in which you reply honestly, express regret, apologise and ask if they will allow you to pay the fare and their admin costs. This has worked in the past if you have a read around the forum.

 

Best, HB

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Hi HB,

 

Thanks so much for your response.

 

In your experience, do they often take people to court for such things?

 

I’m just worried about the criminal record really- I’m a young professional and have never been in trouble with the police. And obviously this would greatly impact my life.

 

Is there a chance the letter they send might just say that I need to pay a fine?

 

Thanks again!

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The first letter will be to ask for your version of events, as I said they will decide what to do once they hear from you. You're a long way from a criminal record at this stage. Once they've had time to read your reply then you can speak to the person handling your case and negotiate to pay the fare and their admin costs.

 

HB

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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As a fellow traveller to East Croydon on Govia's cirque de nightmares... I do not still know how they get away with full trains and not declassify 1st class on certain journeys...

Either way - Wait for a letter - I shouldnt worry...

 

Probably will just be a fine :) But wait for the letter now and juust prepare to part with some cash - Im guessing you did have a valid ticket for Std class?

 

We could do with some help from you.

 

Have we helped you ...?         Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

 

**Fko-Filee**

Receptaculum Ignis

 

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They have 6mts to write

Sitting 1at class rarely results in anything other that a small out of court settlement

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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Hey, yep i had a proper std class ticket so hopefully that counts for something! Definitely learnt my lesson even if it's just a fine! I'll stand in pain like everyone else haha

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Hey, thanks for the info. I'm assuming that'll be the case too. I was super cooperative and polite and they seemed understanding enough.

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Won't be a fine still be an out of court settlement

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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Ok cool i can deal with that!

 

Things in your favour:

You were polite and accepted you'd done wrong (even if you had reasons!).

You had a standard ticket, so although you hadn't paid for first class, you hadn't boarded the train planning on evading a fare.

You have reasons for your behaviour (not an 'excuse' per se, but reasons none the less).

When you get 'the letter' you can reply truthfully, and the reply will match with the staff member's report

Your reply can stress this was a first occurrence, and you can give an undertaking to ensure it doesn't happen again in future

Your reply can stress the disproportionate effect a prosecution and conviction would have on you.

 

Post back when you recieve 'the letter', and you can be helped to formulate your reply, in which you can apologise and offer to pay your fare, and any administrative costs / sum needed to close this by means of an administrative settlement (as an alternative to court). I'd expect that by doing so you stand an excellent chance of receiving such an offer and avoiding it going to court.

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Thanks for your response BazzaS. If it's okay with you all, I'll come back to this thread once i receive the letter so you can guide me through the process.

 

I'm just going to forget about it now and revisit this once I get any correspondence. I'm probably going to have to pay a fee but I'm not overly concerned about that.

 

Thanks to everyone who responded and I'll keep you updated!

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Perfect response, not only in that you’ll keep the thread updated, but you are being sensible and realistic (putting things aside until you hear from them, when you'll then have something you can act on).

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  • 3 months later...

Hi all

 

I have to admit that I had pretty much forgotten about this issue until I got a letter about it yesterday. Long story short, I was issued a fine of 89.90 with no further action to be taken. I paid it straightaway!

 

Judging by some of the posts on here, I’ve been pretty lucky as it seems pretty arbitrary as to who gets what punishment.

 

There’s nothing more annoying than an unfinished thread, but I’d be happy to answer any ques you may have.

 

Once again, thanks for all your help.

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Hi S669.

 

 

Thank you for updating the thread, we don't like unfinished threads either. :)

 

 

 

I'm very pleased you got a resolution you're happy with, I'll update your thread title.

 

 

HB

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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thread title updated

 

dx

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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Did you run and get it back...…………….:-)

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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